What was traded away
It also hurts even more to know the number of draft picks that have been traded away over the last few years when the ‘Hawks made moves at the trade deadline. There is certainly a lot of good things to be said for “going for it” when the championship window is open, but all those lost picks could have really turned into some important young contributors on the current ‘Hawks team.
For every good move like Antoine Vermette, there is another move that does not work out how you had hoped.
Just taking two names from picks the ‘Hawks traded away, you can first look at Christian Dvorak from the Arizona Coyotes. Dvorak was drafted by the Coyotes in the second round of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft after Arizona acquired the pick from the Blackhawks in exchange for Blackhawks legend David Rundblad.
Dvorak played his first season with the Coyotes last year and ended with 33 points in 78 games. He was a plus-7 on a very bad Coyotes team.
Another name to pay attention to this coming season is German Rubtsov. He was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers in the first round of the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers received the pick from Winnipeg, which originally acquired it in the Andrew Ladd trade.
Rubtsov hasn’t played an NHL game yet, just signing his entry-level contract this summer, but in his first 16 games in North America in the QMJHL, he scored nine goals and added 13 assists. Twenty-two points in 16 games is certainly something that has Flyers fans excited.
Of course, this is assuming the Blackhawks would have made the exact same picks as the teams in their place, but you can see what the potential was in some of the picks that were traded off. And seeing how well the Blackhawks have scouted and drafted over the years, it is tough to look back on deals where the ‘Hawks were “going for it” and think it was the right move.
But Bowman made the trades knowing he would be sacrificing potential future stars to try and win in the present. He tried to strike while the iron was hot. If it works out, you’re a genius in the fans’ eyes. If it doesn’t, you’re a loser.
In the short-term memory of a large percentage of fans, it really is, “What have you done for me lately?” And lately, those moves have not worked out.
But for all the shots he took to try and win another championship in the past, Bowman has cut back and changed his focus with his recent moves and acquisitions.